Prior Park Prep School pupil Ben secures his West End and Wyvern Theatre debuts

Prior Park Prep school pupil, Ben, has stars in his eyes after securing his first chance on the West End stage in the lead role of Buzz, in The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts (PQA) performance of 'The Lazy Ace'.

Ben who is in Year 7 and is just 11 years old, has demonstrated a clear passion for drama both in school and out. In Spring this year he took centre stage at Prior Park Prep School's production of 'Oliver!', as the Artful Dodger.

In May, he was then offered the role of Michael Darling, in the Wyvern Theatre's 2017 pantomime 'Peter Pan'. A role which will even see Ben 'flying' across the stage on wires, an aspect to which he is particularly looking forward.

To enhance the children's experiences The Pauline Quirke Academcy (PQA) creates a one-day-only production for the West End once every three years. This year, the one-off performance will be 'The Lazy Ace', at the Shaftesbury Theatre in October and this week Ben secured a leading role as 'Buzz'. He is the card shark in the musical comedy which is set on the glitzy, glamorous Las Vegas strip in the 1950's. Ben will be accompanied by a number of PQA groups joining together, from the Swindon area. For those unfamiliar, PQA was set up by television actress Pauline Quirke to offer children chances to learn all the skills needed including musical theatre, drama, comedy, television and presenting, through their Saturday schools. 

It's pretty exciting to be on at the West End, because I've never done it before. I will enjoy playing the bad guy.


After a successful singing audition Ben Mclean has been cast as a Principal role in the Pauline Quirke Academy’s Musical Comedy ‘The Lazy Ace’. This will be performed at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End later this year. As part of this show he has lead vocals in a song which will be a complete hit with the audience of over 1,000 people!

Dee Thompson, PQA Swindon Principal